Into The Land of The Stone Age Bootlegger

On my first day in the Guajira, an arid region in northeastern Colombia, I got off the chilly climatizado bus at an unremarkable junction known as cuatros vias. Four roadsthree of them pavedtraveling the points of the compass. West to Barranquilla, Colombia's largest port. South to Exxon's enormous Cerrejon coal mine. East into Venezuela, towards Maracaibo, a soupy petropolis. Or north through the Guajira Peninsula, along a branching network of corrugated ruts that ran past the hidden homesteads of the fiercely aloof Wayuu and terminated at sheltered bays and temporary airstrips used by contrabandistas. This was the road I'd be traveling when the truck to Uribia finally showed up.